31 July, 2010

"Fresh New Peeps . . . "


A big part of my aggressively lazy weekend in bed is taking part in some very active online shopping . . . lol . . . and I think I've found my new sunglasses . . . assuming that the sun will shine once again on our dreary summer San Francisco!

At the very least - it's brought a shy grin to my lazy weekend . . . Elijah Wood and Shirley Manson's most excellent video for Oliver Peoples . . . .

*sporting swanky new glasses,*

"A Weekend in Bed . . . "


It seems to me like a very natural progression . . . begin with a crazy, busy week at the office - and follow it with an aggressively lazy weekend in bed.

A perfect place to curl up and let the worries of the week fade away . . .

And what could ever be more relaxing than these marvelous rooms by Kathryn Ireland. If you've never had a chance to peruse through her textile collection - please have a look.

“I’m so conscious of not wanting a room to look ‘decorated,' I don’t start with a lead fabric and then say, ‘This has to go with this.’ It’s all in the mix.” - Kathryn Ireland

Nestled in the bed,

29 July, 2010

"Breathe . . . "


Hey everyone. Just needed to take a second out of a busy day for a breath of air. And when in doubt, flipping through Matthew White's wondrous book, "Italy of my Dreams," always provides me with simple moments of calm and reflection.

*fill the lungs*

*empty the lungs*

*fill the lungs*

*empty the lungs*


- image from "Italy of my Dreams" by Matthew White, photography by Art Gray

28 July, 2010

"Meanwhile, back at Camp Tobi . . . "


Just pleased and delighted to be included as one of Tobi Fairley's virtual camp counselors. Hop over here and have a look . . . and, yes - just to confirm those rumors - I do love sleeping out under the stars . . .


27 July, 2010

"Fearless . . . "


Still slogging through a busy week here at the office - with the constant threat of Jury duty hanging over me everyday. And I'll be calling this afternoon again, after 4:30, to see if I have to report tomorrow. I'm always happy to serve . . . but it's thrown my work schedule into somewhat of a free-fall, as I can't make clients plans due to my possible need for civic duty . . .

But, this post isn't about duty - it's about fear.

The fear that keeps you from trying something new.

The fear of making a mistake.

The fear of being wrong.

But, embracing that fear can keep you from experiencing a wonderful life.

So . . . .

Be bold.

Be daring.

Paint your rooms amazing colours.

Use dramatic beautiful fabrics.

Eat on the good china.

Use your dining room.

Live with grace and style.

And, if the mood strikes you, eat ice cream after 10pm at night.

"Whatever you do in your decorating philosophy, be brave....never
wish you hadn't taken your vision right to the end. Make a bold statement."

Roger Banks-Pye,
Colefax and Fowler Interior Inspirations

Just in a very good mood,

22 July, 2010

"On Dilemma's Horns . . . "


So here I sit. Thinking. Quietly in my office on a Thursday afternoon. Wrestling with a moral dilemma. On the one hand, my dear and most wonderful friend Grant K. Gibson will be featured on the "Tastemaker Tag Sale" on One Kings Lane this Saturday July 24th (11am eastern, 8am pacific). Grant and I have known of each other for years - but, really connected when we both started blogging - - it's truly amazing the connections that this blogging stuff can produce. Well, that and we share an overwhelming love of jaunty Wellington boots.

But, that's not quite where my dilemma starts. Here's my problem - honestly, I love Grant's taste. Both stylish and classic. And now he's selling some of his wondrous collection. So - do I help my good friend out - and publicize the link on One Kings Lane - maybe contribute to its success? Or - do I keep my mouth shut and shop for all these goodies all by myself?

Could be fabulous in my dining room . . .

Maybe a collection of trophies for the shelving in my library . . .

I can always add to my art collection . . .

And who doesn't need to add to their collection of blue and white . . .

Oh, okay - I'll help a friend out . . . lol. Mark your calendars - Saturday morning July 24th, for three days. Don't be late - 11am eastern, 8am pacific. And shop like crazy - tell 'em I sent ya.


you can also check in at Grant's blog for additional information and a much more detailed preview.

20 July, 2010

"Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles . . . "


Is everyone subscribing to Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles? If not, you're totally missing out on some great editorial work - and a wonderful collection of images. The fresh, new August issue arrived at the office this morning - and good lawd, it may be my favourite one thus far.

Especially the cover story on the marvelous work of architect D. Stanley Dixon and interior designer Betty Burgess in the home of local baseball star Derek Lowe. Photography by Erica George Dines.

Enjoy -

Also in this issue - a wonderful retrospective Spitzmiller & Norris, and the most amazing gardens by Alex Smith.

Rush out and find a copy - I've only scratched the surface of this issue - the goodness know no bounds . . .


17 July, 2010

"String Sections and Shower Curtains . . . "


Saturday, 11:52pm. Returning home from a great evening. Quietly sipping tea. And well aware of plans to meet at 7am to check out the new SF Flea Market Sunday morning . . .

But, I've skipped ahead of my story . . .

*cinematic blurring of focus*

*a lush melody line from an oboe begins to play*

*flashback to earlier in the afternoon*

Saturday, approximately 2pm. Noticed on Twitter that my dear friend bemoaned the fact that she had missed getting tickets to see "Psycho."


Saturday, approximately 2:02pm. Quick google search - seems like SF Symphony was having a one night showing of "Psycho" featuring live accompaniment.

well, it seems like I was going to miss it as well.

Saturday, approximately 4:24pm. Notice a missed call/voicemail from the aforementioned friend asking if I had plans for the evening. (I knew she had just returned from vacation, and assumed dinner and gossiping might be in order.)

and no, as a matter of fact, I didn't have any plans for tonight.

Saturday, approximately 4:25pm. Returned the aforementioned missed phone call only to find out that another of her friends saw her message. And had tickets to "Psycho" that they weren't using. And did I want to go with her?

Did I wanna go?!?!?!?!?

Saturday, approximately 8:01pm. Sitting in Daives Symphony Hall. In the most excellent loggia seats. Hearing the orchestra tuning up. Seeing everyone settling into their seats. Watching the lights go down.

"No, don't stop at the hotel. KEEP DRIVING ! ! ! ! ! ! "

Let's see how well I sleep tonight,

ps. Should I have called this post - "Chills and Cellos?" or maybe "Violins and Violence?"

15 July, 2010

"There's an App for That . . . "


Some fun news for all y'all design nerds . . . Kravet/Lee Jofa launched their new iPhone app called 'eDesign Assistant.' Great for every aspect of shopping at Kravet/Lee Jofa :

"With this app, you can search more than 36,000 Kravet and Lee Jofa fabrics and furnishings to find the perfect color, pattern, texture and style in each product category. You can choose from a library of colors, or snap a photo with the iPhone for a color match, and the app will find coordinating fabrics styles."

"If you are registered with us through e-designtrade.com, you can use the app to check stock, order memo samples and check the status of an order 24 hours a day right from the iPhone."

You can just do a search on your 'app store' for 'edesign assistant' and, best of all, it's a free download.

Here's more info . . .


for more information - check the Kravet website.

13 July, 2010

"Meanwhile, Back in Albi . . . "


The year 2000, when the thought of opening my own design business hadn't even finished forming in my mind - I spent two glorious weeks in the South of France - touring with my chamber choir through tiny villages and beautiful cathedrals. We were there from July 1st through July 16th - a trip beginning a few days before our celebration of independence and spanning until a few days after theirs. I always liked the symmetry of that! And even from a distance of ten years, so much of that trip is astoundingly clear in my mind.

We were scheduled to sing one evening in Albi Cathedral. A huge red brick fortress of a place - completed in the early 1400's. Amazing space. Amazing acoustics. Breathtaking frescoes on the ceiling.

Our little 24 voice choir had gathered back in the Sacristy before the concert. We'd done maybe 7 or 8 concerts in a row - but, based on the specific building - and what instruments we would have available - the concert repertoire and order changed nightly. So invariably just before any concert, there was a general sense of confusion . . . music being shuffled around . . . whispers of "what do we sing after the Faure?" and the inevitable concerns about what order we'd be standing in . . . "are we standing in voice parts for the spirituals?" "or in mixed pairs?"

There were times that my music scores had more notes about where I supposed to stand - than what I was supposed to be singing . . . lol

So from that flurry of activity - we walked out into . . .

. . . . this. Now, I've sung at the National Cathedral in Washington. In Westminster Abbey in London. And in Mission Dolores here in San Francisco. Hell, I've sung under the dome at Castle Howard in Yorkshire. But, this was truly breathtaking. And it was PACKED. A huge crowd gathered a see this visiting American choir from San Francisco.

And frankly, we sang a hell of a good concert. A collection of American folk songs contrasted with great works from French composers. We were in great form. And in great spirits. And the audience applauded madly at the conclusion of the program. Encore. Another standing ovation. Another encore.

So afterwards - we were back in the Sacristy again - getting out of our tuxedos. Figuring out which car we were going to take back to the hotel. "Where do sing tomorrow night?" "Are we singing the spirituals standing in voice parts or in mixed pairs?"

And when we walked back out into the empty church - this lovely little man - the janitor - stood up and applauded us once again. Just one singular person. The sound of this one man clapping echoing through the massive space. I think he might have actually been crying. The connections that music can make surpass language and emotion.

So we decided to sing again just for him. One of the pieces from our concert that - by this point - I think all of us had memorized. So we gathered in the back of the church. Made a circle. Put our music down. Wrapped our arms around each other. And let the janitor stand in the center.

And sang this. An all-time favourite. I heard it again last Sunday at church service . . . and the memories came flooding back . . . enjoy . . . I can't find our recording of this - so, let this one fill that place for the moment . . .

Happy Bastille Day,

10 July, 2010

"Quick and Easy . . . "

House and Garden
(photography by Simon Upton)


Sometimes it just all seems like too much - lol. Fabric samples to be sorted. Antique stemware to be organized. New lighting to be decided. But, as the household and office-wide redesign continues . . . I keep finding little nuggets of delight in the most unusual places. Like this one - from the 2005 House and Garden . . . featuring the home of London antiques dealer Charles Edwards in the Northampton region of England . . .

So in the midst of the madness - just a quick posting . . .


08 July, 2010

"The Acres, at Their Most Green . . . "

Brent Ridge and Josh Kilmer-Purcell
(Ben Hoffmann for Vanity Fair)


Seriously, is anyone else watching "The Fabulous Beekman Boys" on Planet Green? Just imagine. A reality show. Two great guys. Leave their jobs in the city. Buy a farm in upstate New York.

And 'action . . . '

Maybe it's because I grew up on a farm. Maybe it's because the 'fish out of water' concept can be quite entertaining. Maybe it's because their llama "Polka Spot" has its own facebook page.

Or maybe it's because it just hilarious . . . and heart warming . . . it all just delights me.

And you can take some of the magic home by shopping at - Beekman 1802 - Goat's milk soap, Cheese, Heirloom Linens, Stationery . . .

You can also find episodes on iTunes.


07 July, 2010

"They're Coming . . . "


OMG - OMG - OMG . . . it's only 18 more days until 4th season of Mad Men starts. (and you should be able to clearly visualize 'tartanscot' jumping up and down with excitement.) And blessedly, the Mad Men Season 3 DVD collection arrived late last Thursday afternoon - and was the entertainment for a great deal of my July 4th weekend. Many of you know of my obsession with 'directors commentaries,' and the DVD collection is practically oozing with them. Now I'm feel I'm all ready for the new season . . .

And all praise to Joan Harris portrayed by Christina Hendricks.
Sublime. Confident. Voluptuous. Brilliant.

She might be my favourite character on the show . . . who's yours?

And what will become of the radiant (and emotionally stunted) Betty?
January Jones and Jon Hamm

"The Mad Men are coming. Look busy."

*drum riff*
*and the theme song begins . . .


images from the Mad Men Website.

04 July, 2010

"Happy 4th of July . . . "

Hope you're having an amazing weekend!


03 July, 2010

"This Flag is My Flag . . . "


Firstly, a caveat. You must know that sometimes these blog posts take on a life of their own. And secondly, some back story - I was in New York a few weeks back - just as the World Cup was beginning - and it was so heartwarming to see the great display of national pride from such a diverse collection of countries. Hearing people cheer for the feats of athleticism. Seeing the varied panoply of colours of the soccer jerseys that everyone seemed to be wearing. Seeing schedules with flags on the billboards outside almost every sports bar across the city - showing the match for the day.

So I had a brilliant idea - I decided to explore the use of national flags in interior design. Maybe search around and find images of the Spanish flag used in a living room. This was going to be so exciting. Maybe something with Brazil's flag as a pillow. Or maybe Canada? Or Portugal? Italy? France?

But - nothing. And I mean - nothing. at. all. It was practically the zenith of 'dead-end-google-searches.' I could find sites that sold these pillows and throws - but, no pictures of anyone who'd ever used them.

Well not quite nothing - the obvious exception is an old grudge match from late-17oo's.

After searching through tons of images - I'm curious about the overwhelming (and almost exclusive) use of the Union Jack and the American flags in design on both sides of the Atlantic. We seem to be the only two nations to readily adopt our national symbol as a decorative motif.

Often, it's the simple use of the flag.

And sometimes it stretches a bit further than that . . .

(this image used is always bug me because the flag is displayed incorrectly. I was in Boy Scouts as a little kid - and I know that the flag should always be displayed with the star field in the upper left corner - no matter what its orientation. The good news - this isn't actually an American flag. It's an antique Indian blanket from the 1880's using a representation of the flag as its design motif. So it basically just proves my point even further.)
And, just for the record - I love this chair.
Really. A way whole lot.

Personally, I used my American Flag pillowcases from Ralph Lauren until they fell apart. And, at the moment, there's a beautiful new Union Jack pillow sitting a few feet from me on my sofa.

Do you have flags used as a decorative element in your home? And are they your own nation's flag?

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